Sunday, 29 January 2017

REVIEW - THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE (ANDRE OVREDAL)


The Autopsy of Jane Doe is the kind of nifty little genre nibble for which the more discerning horror fan may wait for months to find - it's unexpectedly excellent, which makes its otherwise-inevitable capitulation to the tropes those fans may wish it had avoided equally unexpected. For all its good surprises and for all its bad ones, this is overall just an average little genre nibble, never quite sufficiently satisfactory. Andre Ovredal might be the director attached to the screenplay, but it's the screenplay that ends up affecting his work, undermining the value he provides the project. A skeletal schlock scenario is given unusual cinematic eloquence by Ovredal, whose restrained eye for detail and commitment to the human relationship at its centre lay some meat on writers Ian B. Goldberg and Richard Naing's premisal bones. Aided by a capable crew, evidently enthused by the opportunity to work on a lean, style-focused genre piece as often they are, Ovredal makes The Autopsy of Jane Doe a much more memorable film than it alternatively might have been, and crafts a work of moderate artistic import that's supremely enjoyable. The enjoyment wears off rapidly, however, not least due to the kind of third-act decline in quality typical of horror movies. One is primed to suspend disbelief not only in reasonable anticipation of the content of a movie of this variety but by every early development in its plot, though still the stupidity seeps through, alive despite all efforts to the contrary. For what it is, and for what it intended to be, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is by no means the kind of little genre nibble you'll regret tasting, though it's really only good for a taste, not for a swallow.